For the skiers, by the skiers | AspenTimes.com

For the skiers, by the skiers

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to David Perry, senior vice president of Aspen Skiing Co.

Dear Editor:

It’s nice to have read a few days ago in the papers that the developers for the Lift 1A/Aspen street side of town are considering some re-thinking in terms of pricing, size, feel, etc. of this project. One has to wonder just how much downward rethinking the powers to be are really doing.

Understand, I, and many Aspen skiers, love it that for the most part, people who have made making enough money to be able to afford Aspen vacations and real estate never had the time to develop the skills to ski the parts of our mountains that I/we love skiing.

Throughout the industry, and resorts chambers, we hear it asked: “How do we generate growth, excitement, and genuine love for our sport/industry/lifestyle?” Perhaps it’s time for all of us to “pay it forward” a bit and try to get the more, for lack of a better word, more common folk and their families involved. People whose incomes are more down to earth and who have the time to get involved with our sport while their families are growing up and easily inspired to get good at it and stay involved, and perhaps one day move up to being able to buy here or another resort.

Turn them on to the Aspen experience that many of us found and embraced and they’ll find a way to keep coming. Is this really going to happen by building more million-dollar fractionals and $2,000/night rooms, and high-end eateries and shops?

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I’m not so naive as to not realize how valuable all that land at the top of Aspen street is. We are in an economic downturn that may be measured in decades rather than years. Could the city/county/Skico/land owners form a consortium to keep the development cost/profit prices low enough, much like subsidized housing, to allow for a project that has the actual feel of the “old mining/ski town” that we all fell for?

A place that would be mostly about $150,000/year incomes rather than $15 million a year. It’s Aspen so some high-end must be there, but lots of low-brow bars/eateries/lodges/shops etc. would be real, and just might keep the spirit alive. To continue on with this crazy super high price M.O. just seems silly.

Greg and Susan Paul

El Jebel